This Sunday evening I meet with my church board for our monthly meeting. It will be the 125th board meeting I have led at this church. That is a lot of meetings!
I have been blessed to have some great board members and a lot of productive meetings, but they have not all been easy. At times there have been conflict, misunderstandings, and differences of opinion. Thankfully, we have always been able to work through our challenges for the benefit of the church.
Here are some things I've learned along the way that has helped us have more productive board meetings:
1. Build strong, personal relationships with your board. Time invested outside of the meeting is time well spent. Invite your board to a backyard BBQ, a bowling night, a baseball game, or anything that helps you connect socially. The stronger the relationship, the more effective the meeting.
2. Train new board members. Don't assume they know what their role requires. Since our board has term limits, each year two new members are elected. Annually, I host an orientation for new board members. Each member signs an agreement that covers their responsibilities, including our expectation of confidentiality.
3. Prepare an agenda for every meeting. An agenda informs each member of what to expect. By emailing it in advance, members can prepare for the meeting by giving thought and prayer to the issues at hand. My agenda usually includes:
4. Keep your board focused on big picture issues. You can accomplish this by asking good questions such as:
5. Predetermine the length of the meeting. Start and finish on time.
6. Require every board member to participate. If the 80/20 rule is correct, 20% of your board will do most of the talking. However, your members were elected by the congregation to serve. I've observed that when less talkative members share on an issue, we really needed to hear what they contributed.
7. Lead your board to make decisions. It’s easy to get caught into the discussion trap without making decisions. Your congregation needs your board to make critical decisions. Pray, discuss, decide, and make a plan.
8. Work with your board to develop an annual budget. Many churches fail to create this important document. With a budget, you set out to fund the vision God has given you. It also ensures you have proper spending controls in place. Here is a free budget calculator you can use.
9. Review the pastor/staff salaries annually. I know pastors who haven't received a pay increase in years. By reviewing the payroll annually, the board can consider cost of living and merit raises.
10. After each meeting send the board an email summarizing decisions made and assignments given.
Question: What ideas do you have for making church board meetings more effective? Share in the comments below.
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Hi! I'm Loren Hicks. I am follower of Jesus, a husband, a father, a friend, and for the past